When a patient enters a medical facility or clinic in Florida, they are guaranteed complete confidentiality and privacy under federal and local laws. If that confidentiality is breached, the alleged perpetrator may face serious consequences and the hospital itself may face reprimands and lawsuits. If medical data is accessed by someone who does not have the need to see it, the person may still be fired and reprimanded for the breach. One hospital patient chose to file a lawsuit against a medical group in Florida, citing a breach of contract with the state as he received medical treatment.
The suit was recently dismissed in federal court and refiled by the patient's attorney in state courts. He claims that medical data was accessed by employees of Florida Hospital and then sold to a chiropractor clinic. The employees all pled guilty in the case that affected more than 763,000 patients of the hospital.
Federal judges dismissed the case because they felt it was out of their jurisdiction, and the man’s attorney claims the contract between him and the state of Florida required Adventist Health Group to keep the data confidential and safe. His lawsuit is asking for a credit on his hospital bill in order to make up for the data breach.
He is currently the only person on the lawsuit, and the company declined to comment on the case. The lawsuit is particularly important due to the possible implications for any business that handles customer information that is sensitive and should be kept confidential.
Source: Orlando Business Journal, “Report: Adventist Health data breach lawsuit dismissed, refiled,” Abraham Aboraya, July 12, 2013